3 Simple Tips to A Healthier You!

11 11 2008

How many people do you know who are on prescribed medication?  High cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems, obesity…  With all of the new medical & pharmaceutical advancements, people are more aware of health & fitness than ever before, yet our own government statistics indicate record levels of health-related ailments. 

           

Every quick fix book, cd, infomercial, TV show, wonder pill, cosmetic surgeons Learn What Really Works!surgery, fad diet and DVD all claim to have the miracle answer.  DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!  Stick to the fundamentals and you’ll see results that last.  An overall healthy lifestyle will have benefits that impact more than just your pant size. 

Here are 3 simple ways to start….

 

  1. Eat.  That’s right, eat.  There are tons of special diets, but you don’t need a diet – you need to learn how to eat.  Keep It Simple.  The best way to eat correctly is to eat what nature provides: meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and water.  The more cooked or processed food gets, the worse the food is for you, period.  Too many diets include fast food, soda, chips, candies, or some type of ‘convenient’ food.  This is why the average American has gained over 20 lbs., in the past 15 years, and the incidence of heart disease and cancer are at an all time high!  Pack a little cooler with healthy alternatives such as fruit, protein shakes, organic bars, nuts or water, so that when you are hungry, you have something available.  Also, take an evening and plan your meals for the week.
  2. Move!  Get off the couch, out of your chair, out of the car and move.  This is what most people call exercise, but you don’t have to put on tights and get on the Stairmaster. Go outside, play a sport, go skiing, take a hike, go for a swim, join a gym… It doesn’t matter, just move.  No more ‘New years’ resolutions that last for a week.  Make exercise a habit.  Movement builds strength, cardiovascular health, increases flexibility, strengthens ligaments, increases energy and clears your mind.
  3. Chill. People recharge in different ways.  So you need to figure out whatRelax! you truly enjoy.  What do you like to do that allows your mind to relax?  Try sports, the spa, time with family, a good book, a long walk, a bath, painting or any other activity that rejuvenates you.  Too many people spend most of their time racing around, and they never really make time to recuperate.  Everyone needs time to chill, including YOU.  So think about it, schedule it, and make it a priority. 

 

Final Notes:

Start with your calendar. Don’t just react each day to things that pop up.  Exercise and health need to become a priority.  Plan to workout 3 times per week.  Everyone has 3 hours a week to do something physical.  Next, plan some time to chill.  Remember, this is for you to relax mentally!  Find an activity that recharges you and offsets the week’s stress!  Finally, plan your meals in advance.  Learn how to shop and prepare for your week. Ask for help.  Make time. Commit to basic changes.  You will look better, feel better and become a healthier person!

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7 Ways to a Smarter, More Confident, Sexy You!!!

25 10 2008

Do you want to feel better, inside and out, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Well look no further than Exercise!
 
The benefits of exercise, from preventing chronic health conditions to boosting confidence and self-esteem, are hard to ignore. And these benefits are yours for the taking, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing? Check out these seven specific ways exercise can improve your confidence, brain health and life.
 
1. Exercise improves your mood.
Need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help you calm down.
Exercise stimulates various brain chemicals, which may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You’ll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Exercise even reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. Medical studies have shown exercise improves thinking and memory. Physical activity combined with a fitness training regiment not only increases cardio vascular and muscular health, by boosting blood flow and elevating growth hormones, but also shows significant increases in vigor and clear thinking.

Smile!

Smile!

 
2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent osteoporosis? Regular exercise is the ticket.
Regular exercise can help you prevent – or manage – high blood pressure. Your cholesterol will benefit, too. Regular exercise boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol while decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
And there’s even more. Regular exercise can help you prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.
 
3. Exercise helps you manage your weight.
Want to drop those excess pounds? Trade some tv/couch time for walking or other physical activities.
This one’s a no-brainer. When you exercise, you burn calories. The more intensely you exercise, the more calories you burn – and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. You don’t even need to set aside major chunks of time for working out. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials. Better yet, turn off your TV and take a brisk walk. Dedicated workouts are excellent, but activity you accumulate throughout the day helps you burn calories, too.
 
4. Exercise strengthens your heart and lungs.
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Don’t throw in the towel. Regular exercise can leave you breathing easier.
Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. In fact, regular exercise helps your entire cardiovascular system – the circulation of blood through your heart and blood vessels – work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you’ll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.
 
5. Exercise promotes better sleep.
Struggling to fall asleep? Or stay asleep? It might help to boost your physical activity during the day.
A good night’s sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. And, you guessed it; exercise is sometimes the key to better sleep. Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. The timing is up to you – but if you’re having trouble sleeping, you might want to try late afternoon workouts. The natural dip in body temperature five to six hours after you exercise might help you fall asleep.
 
6. Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.
Are you too tired to have sex? Or feeling too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Exercise to the rescue.
Regular exercise can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there’s more to it than that. Exercise improves your circulation, which can lead to more satisfying sex. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise, especially as they get older.
 
Wondering what to do on a Saturday afternoon? Looking for an activity that suits the entire family? Get physical!
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or monotonous . Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a local climbing wall or hiking trail. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. Plan a neighborhood kickball or touch football game. Find an activity you enjoy, and go for it. If you get bored, try something new. If you’re moving, it counts!
 
Are you convinced? Good. Then why not start rewarding yourself the benefits of physical activity today!

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Exercise and Stress Reduction

17 10 2008

Today, stress seems to be a way of life. Stress can be hard to live with and can cause anxiety, depression, and other ailments such as high blood pressure and insomnia, and can even negatively affect our immune system. Research has shown that regular exercise is one of the best physical stress reduction methods there is, and that those who exercise regularly have a decreased occurrence of anxiety and depression.

Exercise can help the body to cope better with the physical effects of stress. Exercise strengthens the heart and lungs (two organs that are largely affected by the body’s response to stress), decreases stress hormones like cortisol, releases endorphins (giving you a feeling of happiness and overall well being) and helps with weight loss and maintenance (improving your confidence and body image!). Regular exercisers also report that they have more energy, sleep better, have an improved ability to concentrate, and have reduced reactions to stress.

While exercise may not make those everyday stressors disappear, it does put you in a better place physically, emotionally and spiritually, to deal with them.

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Exercise and Disease Prevention

17 10 2008

Not long ago, physicians used to advise individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, asthma and heart disease to avoid exercise, thinking that excessive physical activity would cause more problems. However, today there is evidence that exercise does in fact prevent and even treat these commonly occurring illnesses.

Research indicates that exercise can help diminish the pain and joint damage caused by arthritis, decrease asthma attacks and the need for medication, and ease anxiety and depression. With a combination of diet and exercise diabetics can see a 45% improvement in their condition, when compared to just diet alone.

The American Heart Association has stated that the leading cause of heart disease is physical inactivity. Regular exercise helps to strengthen the heart, reduce blood pressure, improve a person’s cholesterol levels and give the coronary arteries greater flexibility, all contributing to preventing the development of heart disease.

Even your cancer risk may be reduced by regular exercise. Evidence links exercise to a reduced occurrence of breast tumors, colon cancers and other malignancies. One study from the University of Southern California found that “women who participate in four or more hours of physical activity per week during their reproductive years reduce their risk of breast cancer by 60 percent, compared to inactive women” Additionally exercise has also been found to ease the side effects of chemotherapy and improve adherence to cancer treatments.

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Exercise and Increased Energy

17 10 2008

Increased energy is possibly the biggest and best result of exercising. Everyday all over the world, people say that they are tired and they wish that they had more energy.

 

A lot of people will try several different remedies to increase their energy. It could be a cup of coffee, a candy bar, an energy drink, or whatever they feel they need to increase their energy. What some of those people won’t do is exercise.

 

It is proven that exercise can and will increase someone’s energy. By working out in the morning, it can give you that spark to push you through the day and that day will end with a great night sleep (another benefit of exercise) and I am sure you know that usually when you get a good night sleep, you aren’t exhausted and tired the next day right. Increased energy can come from increased movement because the body is constantly in motion and what better way is there to keep the body moving then by exercising? This also makes everyday activities that much easier. When exercising, endorphins are released into the bloodstream resulting in more energy. You may be saying that hey, if I exercise, I will be tired and exhausted but the fatigue that is felt after a great workout isn’t the same everyday fatigue that results from being inactive.

 

Go out and exercise so tomorrow when you wake up you won’t feel so tired, you’ll feel like working out again because it is such a great feeling.

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5 Ways to Slow Aging

17 10 2008

 

 

Technically, we begin to age from the day we’re born. But most of us don’t give it much thought until we begin to notice several signs of aging: lagging energy, digestive complaints, wrinkles, weight gain, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lowered stress tolerance, and reduced mobility. With enough of these symptoms of aging, we may be motivated to make some changes

 

Here are five steps to practice daily if you want to look and feel great as long as possible whatever your age.

 

CONTROL STRESS

“Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older,”

The daily stress imposed by relationships, work, and lifestyle are a major factor in aging and the development of aging conditions.

The most effective antidote for reducing stress is living as much as possible in the present moment. Every day, practice meditation, t’ai chi, qi gong, and prayer. Listen to relaxation tapes designed to synchronize both hemispheres of the brain. Try to keep your mind totally focused on what you’re doing at the moment, even during the most mundane tasks. With practice, you’ll become much better at thinking less and accessing your intuition and inner wisdom, which will improve your quality of life and long-term health.

 

NOURISH YOUR BODY

Fast becoming a worldwide problem, obesity is a chronic disease that accelerates aging, helping to explain why it’s implicated in heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Overweight stems from eating too much, eating the wrong foods, eating while stressed, and your genetic inheritance. The greatest culprit is sugar – not just table sugar but sweeteners and all “white” carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, white potatoes). Sugar contributes to skin wrinkling, impairs immune function, and causes hormone imbalances, particularly insulin and cortisol.

Reducing caloric intake is a scientifically proven way to extend longevity. Ideal body weight, age, and exercise level determine how many calories you should ingest daily. Women 25 to 50 need a daily intake of 1,800 to 2,400 calories. Men in this age group can eat between 2,200 and 2,600 calories. Anyone over the age of 50 needs to limit calories to somewhere between 1,500 to 2,200 a day.

 

ANTI-AGING EXERCISE

Convenient for most people even during the middle of the workday, walking is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular function. Swimming, cycling, running, and other aerobic activities prime the body to release growth hormone and testosterone, which is converted into estrogen in women. Aerobic exercise also reduces insulin and corticol levels, while releasing the “feel good” neurotransmitters that elevate mood and improve sleep.

Always begin your exercise session by deep breathing for several minutes. Warm up with mild aerobics for five minutes; then complete 20 to 30 minutes of more vigorous aerobic exercise to begin raising hormone levels. Follow aerobics with no more than 40 – 45 minutes of heavy lifting (anabolic or resistance) exercises. Heavy lifting for longer periods of time can actually sabotage your efforts. That’s because body toning and muscle building hormones begin declining rapidly and cortisol starts kicking in.

 

ANTI-AGING SUPPLEMENTS

Aging occurs because stress, poor diet, and the lack of regular exercise increase the production of free radicals – rogue molecules that damage DNA, proteins, and fat membranes. When we’re young, the body’s internal defenses may be sufficient to block free radical damage with antioxidants and detoxifying enzymes in the diet. But as we grow older, or when we’re under great stress, these internal defensive mechanisms grow less effective, and we need supplements to bolster protection against free radical activity.

Common antioxidants include vitamins A, C, E, plus alpha and beta carotene. The amino acid cysteine, the B vitamin niacin, and the minerals selenium, zinc, copper, and manganese are essential components of detoxifying enzymes.

 

SUPPORT THE EXTERNAL SHELL

All the previous steps help counter skin and body aging. In addition, topical creams can protect the skin from UV radiation and help heal redness, scarring and wrinkles. Alpha lipoic acid is very effective when applied topically. Also effective topically in its estrified form (ascorbyl palmitate) vitamin C is necessary for repairing collagen and elastin. Green tea and Pycnogenol™ are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. Zinc, niacin, and other topical ingredients help repair the DNA in skin cells, so that healthy new tissue grows to replace wrinkled and sagging skin.

 

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Sleep Better With Exercise

17 10 2008

We know exercise is good for us. We’ve been told time and time again that it can help prevent weight gain and keep us healthy. But so many barriers exist to prevent us from exercising, especially if we are caregivers.

Time, Health, & Lack of Energy

As a caregiver, you may have less time than any of your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or family members. Each minute of your day may be carefully scheduled. You may find yourself with piles of bills to pay, people to call, prescriptions to pick up, and extra work at night and on the weekends.

You may have knee, hip, ankle, or other joint or bone conditions that prevent weigh-bearing exercises such as Aerobics or running. You may have other health conditions that prevent you from getting your heart rate up too quickly, or too high.

And, quite frankly, you may not have the energy to exercise. Any “spare time” you discover may best be spent taking a nap, cooking a nutritious meal, or even relaxing on the couch with a book. It seems counter-intuitive to spend precious energy on exercise.

Better Sleep, Better Time-Management

Did you know, however, that even walking one mile a day can help you sleep more soundly, and fall asleep faster? According to one study, regular exercise may promote relaxation and raise core body temperature in ways that are beneficial to initiating and maintaining sleep.

A Little at a Time

The American Heart Association recommends that individuals perform moderately-intense exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week. This recommendation is similar to those supported by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine.

The good thing is you can add up those 30 minutes over the course of one day. As a caregiver, you may never have an entire half hour all at once to devote to exercise. However, you might be able to find 10 minutes after lunch for a walk around the office, or 5 minutes in between TV commercials for some leg lifts. Even vacuuming and cleaning the house has benefits. See our article on “Hidden Fitness” for more suggestions on how to stay fit without a dedicated workout schedule.

You may feel too exhausted each day to even think about exercise, but you have to expend energy to get energy. Staying active and incorporating as much movement into your day as possible will help you stay healthy.

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